Budget Weddings. Wedding Planning Tools

One of the most asked questions i receive from bride’s is about how to have a fabulous wedding on a small budget. So i thought i would create a post dedicated to budget weddings. With some of my top tips.

Firstly, let me show you some links to budget weddings on the blog, i want to do this so you can see for yourself you can have a gorgeous budget wedding…

REAL BUDGET WEDDINGS

♥ One of my favourite weddings i have featured on {www} was Gemma and Dan’s DIY homespun farm wedding, with a budget of £3000. It is gorgeous, packed full of details. Gemma has provided a very thorough report on the day and how they planned it. Thinking outside of the box is key, with a free reception space and plenty of DIY details to cut costs. Budget needn’t be lacklustre and this amazing couple prove that.

♥ Dave and Karen’s Beautiful. Budget. Wedding. was another gorgeous day. The couple had a budget of £1000 would you believe!!?? It was a small affair with a focus on love. Karen looks beautifully boho and her dress was from the high street, but you’d never guess.

♥ This Jenny Packham bride cut costs by buying her dream dress second hand, drafting in relatives to help and making lots of the wedding details herself.

♥ Emily and Jeremy had a gorgeous fresh countryside wedding, but had their reception at their local village hall. It was gorgeous, and undoubtly saved them some £’s. Look for village halls with character, open space or newly built ones in your area.

Now don’t get me wrong a budget wedding is not an easy option, you will have to do a lot of work to save money. But it will be so worth it in the end, and the sense of pride you will have in knowing you created your day alone will be amazing.

All images below are from the above weddings :-)

Now lets take a look at the details a little closer and let me share my top budget saving tips…

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VENUE

The venue is one of the biggest expenses of the day, if you include food and drink. You can get package deals that do everything for you but it may cost a lot. To save money think outside of the box. Track down beautiful buildings, those that aren’t advertised as ‘wedding venue’s’, museums, libraries, village or town halls, a piece of land for a marquee or a party in your garden.

If you want a more traditional venue, then be flexible, go last minute or for a week day date and negotiate a deal. There are also a few hotel chains doing wedding packages on a budget, which may be worth looking into.

DRESS

Now i know i got a bit obsessive with a certain wedding dress designer, but my opinions on budget wedding dresses have totally changed. If you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money and half the dresses that are on a budget you would never realise.

Go for a high street wedding dress – see here. Or second hand, try ebay, preloved, wedding forums or your local newspaper. Go to sample sales, for huge discounts on designer dresses. Try charity shops, flee markets or car boots for a vintage wedding dress find. Once it’s had a good dry clean and alterations it can look amazing. Just keep an open mind.

Try buying a dress online, but please be careful when buying new from ebay or certain online stores, my motto is, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is.. go for a recommendation if you do.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Finding a photographer within a small budget can be hard. My opinions on a wedding photographer were, that hey only work one day and get paid ££££?? Well i was wrong! Talented and skilled professional photographers work possibly more hours than in a 9-5 job, what with running a business, editing your images and designing the album.

If there is one aspect of your wedding i would advise not to skimp on it would be your photography budget. Simply because the images you have from your day are your one lasting memory.  A brilliant photographer will make even the simplest of weddings look incredible, and of course you too :-)

If you are really stuck though, seek recommendations if using a budget photographer. You do not want someone unreliable to be taking your images. I have unfortunately heard too often of couples not receiving their images, it’s so sad.

Many photographers now do disk only packages, which can save money and you can ask for an album as a present. Keeping an eye on blogs for up and coming photographers is a great way of finding one in budget :-) Do look at the {www} photographer sponsors, who cover a wide range of pricing options.

WEDDING PLANNER

You may think I’ve gone stark raving bonkers, but hiring a wedding planner can actually save you money. Hiring a fabulous and well experienced planner is a great way to save money. Many planners charge a percentage of your total budget, or some a set fee, however a planner could save you more.

Experienced wedding planners have industry contacts, cost cutting ideas and inside know how. Having formed relationships with vendors they may be able to negotiate deals for you and show you little gems you wouldn’t have found yourself. Let alone all the hard work they will put in to help you organise and style your wedding day.

GUEST LIST

Bit of an obvious one, but a smaller wedding will save you £’s. If you want a more intimate wedding, whether you have 30 guests or elope alone, go for it! You can always have a big party afterwards, which will save money on food and drink. Your wedding won’t be any less special if there are less of you there.

THE WEDDING PARTY

For bridesmaids, why not let your maids choose their own outfits and have them mismatched. Not only is it bang on trend but it looks so cute, and it means they will like their dress. Just give them an idea on colours and give them a bouquet on the day. If not, go to the high street for gorgeous clobber on the cheap!

For the men, you can get them to wear their own suit, or try hiring for a budget option.

CAKE

On a wedding cake you can spend up into the hundreds for a designer number. But if you can’t face forking out for your wedding cake there are a few options. Go DIY, make a beautiful sponge or cupcakes, don’t ice them or ice them rustically and add a cute cake topper.

Go high street, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer do lovely cakes for a bargain price.

Or have your wedding cake as your desert at your wedding breakfast, that way you know your guests will eat it all :-)

ENTERTAINMENT

You may feel like you need a magician, DJ, band or even a clown to entertain your guests, but don’t worry too much. Good company, food and drink will keep them happy. You can always fill your ipod with your  favourite tracks and get the party going yourself. Get some board games, garden games or create a quiz on you both.

Find local musicians or recruit friends and family to help, making your day personal will keep your guests far more happy.

FLOWERS

Of course with your flowers you can go DIY, wild floral arrangements are on trend and are easy to create. If you want something more structured it may be more tricky, but there is plenty of help out there. Get on a course or get on YouTube. If your really organised you could grow your own flowers and get a professional to arrange them for you.

You can always ditch the flowers and opt for feathers, button or felt bouquets, they last forever, and can be made yourself on a small budget.

STATIONERY

If you go down the DIY route, go simple and striking. Many wedding blogs have free invite downloads, which is a great option. Some companies now have a DIY version where you put together the stationery for a smaller price. Get an illustrator to draw something beautiful and print them yourselves. Many stationery companies have great budget options and would be willing to chat to you about your options, so do get in touch with them.

HONEYMOON

If you want a lavish honeymoon but don’t have the budget, why not have a honeymoon gift list? You can always delay your honeymoon for when you have more money. Plan your wedding for a low travel season, IE. not in the summer holidays, to save money. Or take a mini moon, to somewhere beautiful in the UK or for a city break. As long as it’s romantic you won’t mind where you are :-)

RINGS

This is another aspect of your wedding you won’t want to skimp on. You will want your wedding ring to match your engagement ring, so try and go for the same metal and finish. Go bespoke, {www} sponsor Jon Keith Diamonds can make your ring for a great price due to being in the trade. Don’t be afraid to shop around.

If your really stuck, go for a budget high street ring for now and upgrade it in the future.

BITS & BOBS

Favours – see my post here, but if your really tight, don’t worry about having them.

Transport – get a fab black taxi, or borrow a relatives car.

Hair + Make Up – don’t feel you have to have a professional, give it a go yourself.

Hen + Stag Do – have a night out on the town with your friends, or have a day trip, a picnic or pamper at someones house.

Well i hope this resource was useful to you. The main thing to remember is that it’s your day, go with your gut instincts and do what you both want to. Prioritise your wants and set your budget accordingly. Get creative to save money, but most of all have fun!! :-)

Don’t forget to see the other wedding planning tools for free downloads, including a budget planner…

If you have any hints or tips for a budget wedding please leave them below :-)

xoxo

14 thoughts on “Budget Weddings. Wedding Planning Tools

Wow, some fab ideas here. Handcrafting flowers and table decor is really good (tip- use the tutorials on hobbycraft’s website), as you know Lou I handcrafted some of my wedding.

Another great tip is, for branded bridesmaids dresses like Coast, Monsoon, LK Bennett – try outlet village branches like Bicester Village. They often have last year’s collection at over half price (and as they are fairly classic this doesn’t ‘show’). I managed to get £880 worth of dresses (4 matching) for just over £300, the service was impeccable and definitely NOT like visiting a sale (LK Bennett at Bicester village).

You have some great ideas here for saving money and making the most out of a small wedding budget. Here are a few more – hope this helps!!

Purchasing well known branded bridemaids dresses direct from the US on the internet – http://www.houseofbrides.com, saves a fortune, even after paying import duty.

There are many crafters who make some wonderful, weird and sometimes wacky bridal accessories. Check out Etsy for ideas.

Reuse bouquets during the wedding breakfast by placing vases on the top table.

If you are feeding your guests in the day and have an evening buffet, only cater for 75% of your guests – guarantee there will be more than enough.

We have some more great tips and tricks to save money if you are interested over on Weddings in Surrey in the Plan the Day Guide.

Love Pamela – Weddings in Surrey xx

A quick PS… I shop via Oxfam online and just discovered their bridal section. Vintage, designer and high-street- all cheaper (and you know the money is going to a reallly good cause) plus it seems much classier than ebay. If you prefer to visit a shop they even have boutiques.

Hi, I’m not plugging myself here, even though this is what I do!

If you have your heart set on getting married on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, see if you can find an Independent Celebrant to complete the ceremony. The registrar’s fees can shoot up for a service at a licensed premise on these days so why not complete the legalisation of your union on another day that better suits your budget and have the ceremony you really want on the day you want. Some celebrants have different fees depending on the level of service you go for which can save you a little bit more. They are also more flexible time-wise and do not require licensed premises – you could even get married at home, saving on venue costs.

Fabulous ideas! Well done! I’m getting married next august, and I had a budget of £6000, but after reading this, I think I’ll have a £1000 wedding instead, and spend the rest on my honeymoon in Tahiti! Thanks

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